I got to page 81 of my book 'French Children Don’t Throw Food' by Pamela Druckerman. The Chapter is called ‘Wait’ and talks about the importance of teaching your children to wait for things.
I agree with the book ... one of the best pieces of advise I ever got when my daughter was born was from a friend who already had two children. She said treat your first baby like they are your second child. Imagine, when they are crying that you are in the middle of feeding, bathing, changing a nappy of the first so you can not rush to them straight away.
It was something I did and meant that my daughters world did not change to drastically when her brother arrived 20 months later.
I realised though that although I started well with Thea I have not kept up this methodology as well as I could have done ... the children are not adverse to a little tantrum if mummy does not do something quick enough ...
I am going to try some of Druckermans techniques ... Rich thinks buying sweets in the morning and making the children wait to eat them till the afternoon (page 81) might be a little hard to start with so we opt for the yoghurt cake (page 80). We are going to make a cake, they are going to have to wait for it to cool and then we will teach them restraint by only letting them have one piece ...
With the plan decided I put the book down and look for a recipe ... I soon realise that Google brings up a lot of recipes but none of the authors seem to tell you how many grams the yogurt pot should be ... which is kind of crucial to the cake.
After ten minutes of looking at different recipes I improvise, pick up a yogurt pot and soon the cakes are in producation.
Thea decides her cake will be cherry so she throws in a few handfuls of cherries, Charlie picks orange peel and rather enthusiastically puts in most of the packet.
My friend Nell, who has arrived mid cake making, is not convinced by the recipe we are throwing together and keeps making very funny faces and commenting that she is not sure this is going to work ... she was especially concerned by the whole yoghurt pot of oil. I attempt to look calm while I keep my fingers crossed that the cakes taste ok ... we are making two (one each for the children) so if they don't we are going to have a lot to throw away ...
This exercise is teaching me patience ... I am left waiting nervously to see if the recipe is going to make a cake worth eating ... thank goodness it does.
The children waited for the cake to cool, ate their piece and all went well ... it was not till later that I read page 82 of the book that I realised Mummy had not faired so well in the exercise. Apparently I was meant to teach the children self restraint by not eating any of the cake myself ... oops mummy probably should have read the whole chapter before cooking.
If I had I would have realised that on page 96 the author gives her yoghurt cake recipe, which would have saved a lot of Googling and worrying! Never mind the one we improvised from worked well.
I would recommend this if you want to cook something simple with children, have no weighing scales or you don’t like very sweet cakes this is delicious with out making you feel you have eaten too much sugar ...
1 125g Pot of Greek Yoghurt, 3 Yoghurt Pots of Plain Flour, 2 Yoghurt Pots of Granulated Sugar, 1 Yoghurt Pot of Vegetable Oil, 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Essence, 3 eggs, 10ml Milk, 1 Tablespoon of Baking Powder
1 x 2lb loaf tin, 1 x 2lb loaf tin liner
- Turn you oven to 170
- Place a liner in your 2lb loaf tin
- Pour all the ingredients into a mixing bowl. You use the yoghurt pot to measure out the ingredents.
- Mix together thoroughly
- Add your flavouring ... 2 small handfuls of cherries, orange peel, chocolate buttons, chopped nuts ... and mix again
- Pour the batter into the lined tin and place on the middle shelf of the oven for 35-40 minutes. When cooked the cake should be golden on the top and spring back when touched. To check it is cooked through slide a metal skewer into the middle of the cake, if it comes out clean the cake is cooked. If the skewer is covered in cake mixture it needs a few more minutes in the oven
- Once cooked remove the cake from the oven and leave it to cool slightly for a couple of minutes
- After a couple of minutes remove the cakes from their tins, keeping the cake in the liners and transfer to a wire rack to cool
If you don’t have Greek yoghurt use natural instread. In France you have a much larger selection of different size Greek and natural yoghurt pots. If you can not find 125g pots of Greek yoghurt then buy a big pot and use an old 125g pot for the measuring.
I like makes in loaf tins, if you prefer a round cake then line an 8 inch cake tin and cook at 180 for 30-35 minutes instead.
You can use this cake as a base for lots of different flavours ... in addition to the suggestions above you could add the zest of a lemon to the mixture then when the cake is cooling in its tin, mix together the juice of the lemon and 55g caster sugar to make a drizzle. Prick the warm cake all over with a skewer or fork, then pour over the drizzle - the juice will sink in and the sugar will form a lovely, crisp topping. You could also do this with an orange.